National Grid residential natural gas customers can expect a 39% price hike

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WATERTOWN — National Grid utility customers who heat their homes with natural gas can expect to pay approximately 39% more in the upcoming home-heating season.

A National Grid spokeswoman, in a conference call on Tuesday, said that would translate on average to a winter heating bill of $943 for the season, or $263 over the current year.

The five-month home heating season runs from Nov. 1 to March 31. National Grid says the average residential customer uses 713 therms in that period.

“Therm” is the unit of measurement of natural gas over time. One therm is equal to 100,000 British thermal units, BTUs.

The 713 average figure relates to the “upstate” New York region. National Grid doesn’t calculate average seasonal therms down to individual regions like Northern New York.

Tuesday’s announcement by National Grid was a comparatively early annual pricing forecast by the utility company, which usually releases such data in October.

“We considered how market volatility would impact our customers and wanted to offer as much time as possible so that they might be able to better prepare homes, and certainly assess budgets for the winter heating season,” said Melanie Littlejohn, vice president of customer and community engagement for National Grid.

She said the primary cause for the price jump is the wholesale price of the natural gas supply.

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